AV software ???

As a newbie I am seeking some opinions/reccomendations about security issues
and in particular about virus protection.
I have read posts that proclaim linux to be
secure by default,and providing my firewall is up and I don’t log in as root,I should be free
from problems. I also read elsewhere (PC World
magazine) that although several orders of magnitude more secure than windows, Linux is
not completely secure ,and I might want to
consider using Clam or AVG Linux.Fortunatley
these programmes are free-- God knows how much
I shelled out over the years to AV software
outfits only to have their programmes slow down
or completly screw up my systems.
Comments -opinions ,and advice most welcome.


This is true.

It is true Linux is not completely secure. Having stated that, my view is using Clam or AVG Linux is IMHO more problem that it is worth.

As noted, the risk to Linux security does NOT come in the form of virus. At least not at this time in the history of Linux. Linux is not much of a target in the hacker scheme of things, and more success can be obtained by hackers coding bots try to crack in thru open ports in Linux (such as port #22 and a poorly set up ssh account) than wasting time on a virus that can not propagate in Linux.

I have many friends who use Linux. I do not know one who has caught a virus in Linux. In fact, after following the Linux forums for over 8 years, I do not know of one user posting they caught a Linux virus on their desktop PC. Now compare that to one’s MS-Windoze friends and** contemplate that a bit**.

I think in reading those articles you already have read the opinions, … and I also think you simply find it difficult to believe that Linux is so virus free.

Yeah, as oldcpu said.

Don’t waste your time with a virus checker. Most viruses come from users installing dodgy/compromised software and worms that make use of “features” of Microsoft software.

As long as you stick to “trusted” sources of Linux software, you should be OK.

It feels quite odd at first not having to waste time and resources on viruses and the like, but you will eventually get used to it as you learn another way of using your computer.

And I’m sure you will eventually laugh and raise an eyebrow when you hear a Windows user telling you all about how they must update their virus checker software before using their computer, or complaining about how much it costs to renew their subscription ;).

I say it depends on what the linux box is doing. Your linux box may not become infected, but it can propagate a virus. It can be a carrier. Examples would be using the linux box as a file server with samba, using the linux box as a sandbox to download dodgy software, etc…

The linux box may not be able to get infected, but if you are pulling files off the linux box to use on windows you may inadvertently infect your windows machine, if the files on the linux box are infected. Think typhoid mary. So there needs to be an AV client somewhere. Maybe not directly on the linux machine but on the windows machines on your network.

ClamAV works well and can assist and you can run on-demand scans of directories. Or you can make sure your windows clients have a functional av client. (if you have any windows clients on your network. You may or may not.)

IMHO that is NOT what propogate means in the context given.

Propogate in the context given applies to a PC that has been infected, and then infects other PCs.

I agree with the term carrier.

Of note is most users on our forum are desktop users. They do not use their Linux boxes as servers. … and in the case you quote, the anti-viral software is there on a Linux PC so that it can help Windoze PCs.

I think it important that new users not be given specific cases in a way that it leaves them with broad misinterpretations.

if you want to argue semantics you would be correct. But the dictionary on my computer shows propagate as:
3 trans. ] transmit in a particular direction or through a medium…

He asked for advise. I gave real world advise.

So I wont post any more on this forum any further as it appears telling users they have nothing to worry about is the norm and offering real world advise it bad.

Post where ever you want, within the guidelines of what ever forum you wish to participate. As far as I can tell, everyone in this thread has been within the guidelines of our forum.

Claviceps, if you plan to set up a Linux server to hold MS-Windows applications, or if you plan to use that Linux server as a download agent for MS-Windows applications, and if you wanted an extra defence against virus that are designed to attack MS-Windows OS and MS-Windows applications, then you could consider installing such anti-viral measures to defend the MS-Windows OS.

If however, if you are an average user, wanting a Linux desktop PC, then IMHO to protect your Linux your time and effort is better spent elsewhere defending your Linux PC against real world attacks (designed to go after a Linux PC via insecure ports, inappropriate use of root, etc … which are NOT virus ) as opposed wasting your time putting defenses in a server against MS-Windows virus, when this is a server setup you never plan to use.

Hi folks,
Thanks for your advice,all who replied.
I was hoping for some divergence of opinion,and
have not been dissapointed,not that I wish to
stir up trouble,just keen to learn the pro’s and cons of things . You’re perfectly correct
in your assumption that, after years on windows
paying for virus protection, doing my scans,and
dealing with the worms and trojans that got through,-- I now feel totally exposed and as you say need to get into a different mode of
I have three desktops and one laptop. I have
put two recently built desktops onto Suse 11.1
64 bit.The laptop(Amd Athlonx2 64 bit) is struggling along with windoze vista battling
with krapspersky at each available opportunity,soon I will wipe it and put it onto Suse as well.The other desktop running
xp pro will stay that way until I’m sure that
a couple of applications I use for work will
work in one way or another on the new machines.I do not dual boot ,but I do run my
business from home via the net . For the
moment I use hosting servers for stuff I have on the net , but may in time start to use things like Samba server,at that point I
will re-asses the need for anti viral measures,but for the moment will not bother,
and try and get used to life after windows.

Many thanks for the advice

The OP has nothing to worry about as he is using Linux, not MS Windows, and he asked for information along those lines.

Plus I am of the opinion that Windows viruses and worms are the problem of the Microsoft Windows operating system and related software, nothing to do with me. They don’t affect Linux, so why should I (or my Linux machine) be the “World Police”?

I can’t envisage a Windows machine having the same caring sentiment towards Linux Virii (if and when they exist).

And I would say that “propogate” means more “actively replicating”, ie doing it on purpose. As in “propogating plants”, means you are actively nurturing them in order to create more of them.

So don’t run away upset :).